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Articles September 2014 Issue

Reality Check on Resveratrol’s Health Benefits

Despite headlines, claims for red-wine compound remain unproven at best.

Proponents of resveratrol, the antioxidant compound found in red wine and grapes whose near-miraculous health claims have created a $30 billion supplement industry, must have felt a bit of whiplash lately. First, a new study of dietary intake of resveratrol in the Chianti wine-making region of Italy made headlines by reporting no correlation with longevity or lower risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease. “Resveratrol Health Benefits a Myth?,” one news article asked. Then, just three weeks later, another new study reported that resveratrol supplements improved memory in overweight older people—raising hopes once again.

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